• Cosmetic Dentistry Eastern Suburbs Melbourne

    Which would you prefer?

    Healthy gums are as simple as thorough cleaning at home along with regular visits to the dentist.

    With a build up of plaque and calculus at the gum line, the gums become inflammed and eventually recession of the gums and underlying bone will occur.

    This can ultimately lead to loss of the teeth.

  • Cosmetic Dentistry Eastern Suburbs Melbourne

    A picture of health

    Healthy gums are usually pink in colour, there is no inflammation and bleeding will not occur when you brush and floss.

    The surface of the gums will be shiny and the gums adapt well to the contours of the teeth.

  • Cosmetic Dentistry Eastern Suburbs Melbourne

    Periodontal disease

    Periodontal disease is characterised by inflammation and infection.

    Signs of periodontal disease include swollen gums, gum recession, bleeding gums, pus discharge, mobile teeth or movement of teeth.

    Smoking not only leads to staining of teeth but is one of the main risk factors for periodontal disease.

Gum disease…what is it, how do I avoid it and how can I treat it?

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease is an infection of the gums and bone surrounding teeth. It is usually painless but bleeding gums, bad breath or red, puffy gums are common signs that you may have gum disease.

shutterstock_516907681     Signs of periodontitis include red puffy gums

Gum disease can eventually lead to loss of your teeth

Avoiding gum disease in the first place is ideal. Thorough brushing and flossing twice a day at home as well as regular check ups at the dentist is the best way to avoid gum disease.

You DO NOT “get long in the tooth” as you get older. This is definitely an old wives tale! Our elderly patients that look after their teeth have healthy gums and fantastic smiles.

Gingivitis

  • Everybody has bacteria in their mouth which form plaque. Plaque is a film that sticks to the surface of your teeth and toxins causes irritation and inflammation of the gums
  • If plaque is not adequately removed from your teeth by brushing and flossing, it can lead to redness, swelling and bleeding. Plaque can also harden and turn into calculus (tartar) that can form above or below the gum line

shutterstock_53659516     Plaque and calculus build up leading to gingivitis

Bad breath is often caused by gingivitis

  • Fortunately, gingivitis is reversible with thorough cleaning at home and treatment from a dental professional. Regular scale and cleans at the dentist will prevent gingivitis. Your dentist can discuss your brushing and oral hygiene to prevent the onset of gingivitis

If gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis

Periodontitis

  • Periodontitis not only involves the health of the gums but is characterised by the destruction of the underlying bone that supports teeth
  • The main causes of periodontal disease include:
    • ineffective cleaning at home
    • lack of professional dental care
    • smoking
    • diabetes
    • genetics
    • unsatisfactory dentures, bridges or fillings in the mouth

 

  • Periodontal disease is often painless and can go undetected for many years (until it is often too late to save the teeth) but signs and symptoms of periodontal disease include:
    • red, bleeding, swollen gums
    • receding gums
    • gaps and spaces between teeth not previously present
    • loose or wobbly teeth
    • movement of teeth
    • changes to your bite
    • bad breath or bad taste in your mouth
    • pain
    • pus or abscess in gums

shutterstock_129331361     Periodontal disease affecting the lower incisors

shutterstock_129331370     Immediately following treatment

The gums separate from the teeth creating periodontal pockets which harbour more food, plaque and calculus leading to further progression of the disease.

Treatment for periodontal disease includes evaluation of the cause, followed by one or more sessions of deep cleaning and instructions on how to prevent recurrence, including covering home care routine. Established gum disease needs to be monitored and regular maintenance is essential to prevent progression. Maintenance of gum health is essential and regular, scheduled scale and cleans will prevent further damage and allow your dentist to monitor your gum health.